The topic this week on our podcast (Kamiwaza) is “confrontation.” In that episode we break down the importance of confrontation in life and relationships. We then dive a bit deeper into why we tend to avoid it and why it only gets harder to overcome the longer we avoid it.
Now, the podcast is mostly focusing on how this effects us in life, but as always, my mind revolves around self protection when it pertains to almost any topic. So I wanted to take a second a look at the same concept but from the angle of helping us stay safe.
Confrontation: The state of being confronted such as in a face to face meeting or a clashing of ideas.
Throughout life these show as very simple things. You like the house 68 degrees, your wife wants it 73 degrees. If you never confront each other, you either just battle back and force passive aggressively changing the thermostat, or you let them have their way and sit in misery having never addressed it. Stupid. Simple. If you just had the conversation you could come up with a compromise.
It can come in slightly bigger situations as well. Your boss wants you to work late for the fifth day in a row, you haven’t seen your kids in five days because you work so much. If you don’t confront them about it, the problem never gets resolved, you begin to resent your boss and your job. However, if they don’t know this is a problem because you never confronted them about it, how are they supposed to know? And if you let them know but they still won’t let up or find a compromise, well then at least you know where you stand and can make moves to better the situation if needed.
It can be very serious matters. You suspect your significant other is fooling around. Instead of addressing it and confronting them, you try to check their phone, talk behind their back to friends, etc etc… and whether they are or not you begin to convince yourself they are. You start doing shit behind their back thinking it’s fair game, or you start treating them like shit, or shutting down, or doing nothing. By the time the conversation happens, if it ever does, you’re buried so deep, nothing good will come of it.
Now, tell me this. If you’re not able to talk about the temperature of the house, or what foods you like and dislike, or talk to your boss about your mental state or the hours you work or how you feel mistreated… Then how is it you expect to handle a controlling and manipulative stranger intent on taking advantage of you, robbing you, attacking you, raping you, or killing you?
If you can’t send a steak back because it’s not cooked properly or address poor service at a restaurant, how do you expect to turn down the insistent man trying to help you load your groceries, or help you to your apartment, or ask you for the time at 2am in a dark parking lot with no one around so he can get close to you?
Criminals are smart… in many cases. There is a phase of the attack in the beginning which is usually referred to as the “victim interview” where in they are sizing up whether you are going to be an easy target and what their success rate is. In some cases it’s a short process, some cases it’s long, but it is always happening.
Think about it. If I am an attacker intent on using a knife to threaten someone into giving me money, would it make more sense to surprise the 5’8” 165lb male that has his head in his phone and looks meager, or would you take your chances on the 6’3” 230lb guy that is eye fucking you from 30’ away? It’s a pretty short interview right there, but it’s common sense.
If I am a serial rapist that tends to stalk people a bit before attacking, would it make sense to attack the girl you know consistently leaves work late after closing down the bar at 2am with no one walking her to her car or the girl who always has friends walk her to her car in the brightly lit parking lot where she parks close to the entrance and always has her head on a swivel?
More so, if I approach you, do I have better chances of taking advantage of you if when I ask you a question or insist on helping you and you look me in the eyes confidently telling me no, keeping me at distance and sticking to your hard no? Or would it be easier to look for someone that averts their eyes, or says no without much confidence?
Sure this lessons applies to where you park, what your awareness is, and all the other elements of “personal protection” but in the instances of actual communication with the threat during that longer interview process, what are your odds of choosing safety and your own personal interest if you don’t do that daily?
It’s a very important thought and something I hope you take into consideration. How often through the day do you respectfully and confidently advocate for yourself? How often do you take control of the things you can in fact take control of? On the reverse, how often do you let things slide? How often do you let people choose for you and control the things you should be controlling?
What are the consequences of this? Resentment, lack of success, lack of happiness…. lack of safety.
Be good, train hard, stay safe
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